THE RED BULLETIN: How did you feel when you were told you were not in season 5?
ISAAC HEMPSTEAD-WRIGHT: The scary thing was – I got a note in the morning from my agent telling me that David and Dan wanted to have a word with me. And everyone knows that means you are going to die. My first thought was: ‘No, my time is up.’ So I got on the phone and they were just like, ‘You are taking a break.’ That was a massive relief.
Would you recommend taking a sabbatical like this?
I’m not sure. After looking at the shooting on the first day I could see how rusty I was. I had not been on a set for a year. So it was quite a shock to the system!
If you could spend a year doing only the things that you wanted to do, what would you do?
I would love to go to all the different concert halls and listen to millions of different pieces of music. That would be fun. I would go watch everything from lots and lots of piano recitals to Babyshambles and then to Ronny Scott and everything in between.
How much free time do you actually have when you’re on set?
It depends really. We’re usually shooting for six months, but you are not filming solidly for that period. It will be six weeks here and then two weeks off, then a few days. You can’t really plan much because they tell you the night before shooting that you have to get on a plane to Belfast.
Bran has been learning how to control his new powers in season 6. If you could choose a mentor, who would it be?
Nietzsche. If he was still alive.
Do you agree with his view that God is dead?
I love that sentence.
And you understood his philosophy?
I tried to read Thus Spake Zarathustra when I was 12 but I have to admit I didn’t understand much of it. Twilight of the Idols is a nice little summary of what it is about. Actually, the Internet is great to lead and absorb information.
So you use Wikipedia?
Yeah. It gets a bad rap. But when it comes to the sciences and maths, it’s generally pretty accurate.
Would you like to study philosophy?
I don’t know. I have gone though many different things. I wanted to study neuroscience then physics and now music. I am not sure.
Is it true that you have been saving your GoT salary to pay for university?
That is something Wikipedia got wrong.
So the website isn’t as reliable as thought?
The article is partly true. I have been saving it for university, but it also says that I want to do a PhD, and I am not sure about that.
You could also just spend your money on girls and having a good time. Do you have a lot of screaming fans at school?
Not really. It started when I was 13 and my friends and I were way too young to watch it. It was never something that occurred to anyone. It was more like: ‘Where is Isaac?‘ – ‘He is in Belfast.‘ – ‘Oh, okay.‘ – It never really meant that much.